The Eye of the Fish

Leviathan
September 2, 2018

NLTP – Wellington

National Land Transport Programme – 2018 to 2021. We’ve had NLTP before, but this one is different. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that the NLTP has so openly included not just transport solutions for cars and trucks, but has also included funding for cycleways, footpaths, public transport, and most importantly: including trains. Yes, you read that right: funding for public transport including trains.

You can download and read the entire national document here on the beehive website, but we are going to outline and concentrate just on a couple of pages buried in the middle, focusing on Wellington region.

INVESTMENT HIGHLIGHTS
• The $45m investment in State Highway 58 safety improvements will reduce serious crashes on the stretch of state highway by up to 65%.

• Let’s Get Wellington Moving to deliver a range of multi-modal improvements to unlock economic development opportunities. This initiate includes high-quality walking and cycling, better public transport, a smarter transport network, and selected road improvements.

• A $43m investment in the Ngauranga to Petone section of the shared walking cycling path will provide a much needed walking/cycling connection between Wellington and the Hutt Valley and increase resilience by building a new seawall that will protect the shared path, the rail line and SH2.

• A $106m investment in two rail infrastructure projects, track renewals and additional rolling stock, will unlock Wellington metro rail network capacity and improve resilience.

• Investment in the construction of a new four-lane median divided highway on SH1 from Peka Peka to Ōtaki will increase the efficiency of moving freight and people between Wellington and the north, and facilitate economic development.

• Completion of transmission Gully.

NLTP

There is plenty there to get excited about – not as much as we wanted, perhaps, but still: good things are coming. Commitment to the Great Ocean Way in the form of the “Shared Path” from Ngauranga to Petone – that’s great news. Sort of unlikely news too, because the place they were going to get the rocks for it (from the Petone to Grenada link road) has now been canned / delayed until they can figure out how to do it without digging the world’s deepest trenches through mountains. Looks like the cycle way project will have to source its own rocks, not insurmountable, as Transmission Gully are already importing rocks from te Wai Pounamu by the barge-load.

But wait: there’s more. In fact, this picture above is only half of it: if you go further north, here’s another half of it:

NLTP-PP2O

Commitment to the Peka Peka to Otaki section of SH1 was never really looking in doubt, its just a matter of timing. And route. And hopefully not money. But the part we’re most excited by and interested in, is of course the snippet at the bottom:

NLTP-LGWM

Let’s go over those words again:

• Let’s Get Wellington Moving to deliver a range of multi-modal improvements to unlock economic development opportunities. This initiate includes high-quality walking and cycling, better public transport, a smarter transport network, and selected road improvements.

The image shows a tantalising picture of a train of some sorts. Is this just the other end of the line of the train image in the Hutt? Are we reading too much into it by noting that the image appears to be slightly south of the Wellington Railway station? Do the words “better public transport, a smarter transport network” mean to you, what they do to us? Should we get our hopes up…?

Leviathan
3 - 09 - 18

Actually, I think I’ve been duped by the graphic. They use the same little image of a train, as for a bus. And they note that it stands for “transport choice” which really means – catch the bus (if you can find one) or walk. So, little to no chance of it being a Light Rail system to the airport, as per most people’s wishes. But then again, it is being deliberately vague, in just saying “Let’s Get Wellington Moving” as though this is going to be completely somebody else’s announcement. Now due in October….

Leviathan
3 - 09 - 18

Then again, the newspapers have presented this as if it was all anti-road:
“Wellington highways snubbed as Government announces transport spend”

mainly because the unfeasible Petone to Grenada link has been put in the too-hard basket, but also because there is not yet a solution to bypassing Levin. Personally, I don’t find it hard to bypass Levin – I just take the existing bypass. Seems easy enough to me. Problem solved. Money saved.

link here:
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/106708522/curtain-to-be-lifted-on-wellingtons-transport-network-future

greenwelly
4 - 09 - 18

Construction of Peka-Peka to Otaki is well underway, (It began in November ’17)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pp2o/page1

The Harbour way funding is interesting, as it presumes construction in 20/21
although the Regional council don’t expect any construction is possible until at least 2021 ( maybe later)
(p 21)
http://www.gw.govt.nz/assets/council-reports/Meeting_Documents/7488_Agenda_Regional%20%20Transport%20Committee%2028%20August%202018,%20Order%20Paper.pdf

The fact there is no capital funding for any of the LGWM projects indicates that this still has a few years of argument to go….

luke
4 - 09 - 18

I thought LGWM = lets grow wellingtons motorways. The whole process is about 4 lanes to the planes despite the basin flyover rejection.

Levi
4 - 09 - 18

Well, that may be, but if they propose just more roads, and no Public Transport, there’s going to be a fucking riot. I know that there will, cos I’ll lead it myself. And will string Laidlaw up from a gibbet just for good measure.

Enough is enough – Wellington NEEDS a better public transport system.

Leviathan
4 - 09 - 18

Greenwelly – yes, I got a bit muddled up there. PP2O is, as you say, already underway, while O2Levin is the one that has just been put on the back-burner, to simmer for a while.

Thanks for the link to the GW paper – i thought it might be tedious, but it is interesting:
on p17, it says: “Wellington City BRT Infrastructure Improvements” – and then says:
“Joint Indicative BC supported by all the partners.
Preparation of Detailed BC to be progressed as part of the Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme.”

So – there you have it. No LRT. Just BRT, first promised 6 years ago by Celia. No action yet.

luke
4 - 09 - 18

2021 start for the Petone – Ngauranga path (2023 finish?) is a bit long for me to wait, Might have to move from the Hutt.

Betterbee
4 - 09 - 18

Levi, that BRT reference is from the Public Transport Spine Study. The programme that LGWM will be producing, apparently scheduled for next month, may (or may not) include something rather more ambitious, effective and transformative…

Leviathan
5 - 09 - 18

Betterbee – you sound like you may have inside knowledge on what LGWM will come out with. Or are you being just very hopeful? I’ve pretty much given up hope where GW are concerned…

Betterbee
5 - 09 - 18

No inside knowledge, Levi: it’s certainly on the cards that LGWM will go for BRT (actually in reality it isn’t on the cards, since the BRT as proposed is just bus priority, not BRT by any standard definition), but the possibility for something better does still exist. After all, Auckland is getting light rail.

greenwelly
6 - 09 - 18

@Leviathan, The BRT lingo is simply a carryover from the last NLTP (2015-18)
that allocated funds for “Bus Rapid Transit – Business Case Preparation”

The 2018 NTLP has the funding described as “LGWM – Rapid Transit – indicative business case”
https://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/planning/nltp-2018-2021/docs/Wellington.pdf

Eventually the language will flow down into the Regional land Transport Plan (RLTP) and the Regional council will start talking about “rapid transit”

Whether it actually reflects any change in outcome is still highly debatable, but hey LGWM has ground on for 4 years and still hasn’t actually produced any Business cases, so what’s a few more years :(

Leviathan
7 - 09 - 18

Interesting rant from John Milford today :
https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/106893360/Get-Wellington-moving-programme-misses-what-the-region-needs

“The expectation is LGWM will adopt projects that comprise the boldest and most popular fix from the options in the public consultation: extra tunnels at The Terrace and Mt Victoria, separation of east-west traffic at the Basin Reserve, and cut-and-cover through Te Aro.
It will also be the most expensive fix. I’ve heard $4b to $5b bandied about, which means there’s a lot of negotiating to be done. With a likely 10-year build ahead of us, we need to be doing that now. The big issue will be where the money comes from.
As in Auckland, the bulk should come from central government, and I imagine we could be looking at an 80/20 central government/local split, as the majority of the work involves State Highway 1 which automatically attracts central government funding. But even that means we may have to find $1b.”

No
16 - 09 - 18

Word on the street is you should get a little excited about the coming announcement. I’ve heard some good things. ;)

Also. Can’t go over it. Can’t go through it. We’ve got to go…

Leviathan
16 - 09 - 18

Too high, I can’t go over it – too low I can’t go under it? I’m gonna get damned excited if they complete the Arras underpass to go under a few more roads, that’s for sure!

But what about the public transport? What’s happening there?

luke
17 - 09 - 18

if its anything other than 4lanes to the planes Ill be pleasanly surprised.

Alan
17 - 09 - 18

OK – I’ll call it. LGWM will announce that they will have grade separation at the Basin, but not with a fly-over – instead, a fly-under. If they’re sensible they’ll go the route that Arch Centre set out with Option X, with Buckle St going over the top of SH1, but I doubt that they have the balls to go the full hog and make the park that Arch Centre proposed.

I reckon they’ll also announce a partial under grounding of SH1 – perhaps just near Willis St? They’ll propose two tunnels through Mt Vic, but for extra cars, not for public transport. They’ll stick with their crap Bus Rapid Transport idea.

Nothing too new. Just more vapid rehatching of existing ideas…